Closing Thoughts From #SHRM13 – On “Becoming More”

For the next week, as thousands of HR professionals from around the country and world converge on Chicago for the 2013 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo, Women of HR will be joining them and featuring all things SHRM Annual related…


Becoming More.

That was one of the overarching themes of the 2013 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition.  A theme meant to encourage us, as HR professionals, to think about how we can bring ourselves and our profession to the next level.

But I wonder…in the midst of our day to day jobs, in the daily grind of ensuring our companies are running smoothly from a people perspective, how many of us really think about how becoming more?  How many of us actually allot time to contemplating how we as HR pros can become more, or how we can help our employees and our companies to become more?

I’d bet that for many of us, the answer is probably no.  Or at best it may be a fleeting thought from time to time.  But that’s the beauty of conferences such as SHRM Annual…they give us that dedicated time, away from the daily grind, to recharge, re-energize, and truly focus on these types of ideas.  Here’s just a sample of how #SHRM13 encouraged Becoming More:

In speaking about the 21st Century as the century of human capital, Fareed Zakaria challenged us to be thinking about how our own company’s human capital and human capital practices can be a differentiating factor in our future success.

Blake Mycoskie, CEO of TOMS shoes encouraged us to give our employees the opportunity to serve, to find ways to make giving a part of our business plans.  Employees who truly believe in the work a company does will work harder for that company.  As the “People people” HR pros should be taking an active role in that strategy.

In his concurrent session “HR at the Core: How To Be An Essential Strategy Entity” Aman Motwane opened our eyes to the lost art of questioning.  The average 6 year old asks 65 questions per day; the average 45 year old just 6.” He challenged us as HR pros to learn and teach our people how to ask prudent questions to break beyond our preconceived notions, listen for what’s really being said (as well as not said), and apply that skill to expand the horizons of our organizations.

In their concurrent session, former SHRM COO China Gorman, and Allyson Willoughby, Sr. VP of People and General Counsel of Glassdoor talked about our role as HR pros in shaping our organization’s culture.  Though culture must come from the top and trickle down, our role as HR pros is to guide and facilitate that process: that we have core values at the heart of our culture, that our employees understand and buy into the values, that our senior leaders “walk the talk,” and that we are aspirational, yet realistic in what we are trying to build and develop.

And finally, Mark Kelly reminded us to never give up, that how good we are at the beginning of anything is not necessarily a good indicator of how successful we will be in the long run.  And Gabby Giffords inspired us with the power of the human spirit, and encouraged us to be passionate, be courageous, and be our very best.

So I ask you….how are you going to Become More?

About the Author

Jennifer Payne

Jennifer Payne is a 20+ year human resources leader with a focus on researching, developing, and implementing talent management programs. She is a believer in lifelong learning and self-development who strives to stay current in HR trends, technology, best practices, and the future of work by sharing knowledge with and learning from HR colleagues and thought leaders across the country and throughout the world through writing, speaking, and involvement in various industry conferences and events.  She is one of the co-founders of Women of HR, and is currently the Editor of the site. You can connect with her on Twitter...


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